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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Lonzo Ball

LaVar Ball wants Lonzo in Phoenix if traded

LaVar Ball Lakers

LaVar Ball is back just in time for the NBA trade deadline.

The Ball family patriarch told ESPN on Monday that if Lonzo Ball is traded in a potential Anthony Davis deal, he wants the point guard to end up in Phoenix, not New Orleans.

As usual, we don’t know if LaVar Ball is speaking only for himself or on behalf of his son, though we have heard talk that Lonzo would prefer to play for the Suns. What is true is that LaVar can speak all he wants, but he only has so much influence over this process. He could raise a fuss if the trade isn’t to his liking, but the Lakers are in control of the process here. Between his contract situation and his stature, he doesn’t have a lot of leverage to make demands of either the Pelicans or the Lakers.

Report: Lonzo Ball, Suns have mutual interest

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball has heard his name come up in trade rumors quite a bit this season, and there is reportedly at least one team he is interested in playing for if the Los Angeles Lakers decide to move him.

Ball has been mentioned as a possible piece of the puzzle in the Lakers’ pursuit of Pelicans star Anthony Davis, but Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reports that the former UCLA star would not want to play in New Orleans. Ball would, however, be open to joining the Phoenix Suns.

Unlike Davis, who can try to control his destination by telling interested teams he will not sign with them long-term, Ball doesn’t have much leverage. For starters, he’s under team control for four more seasons. He also isn’t exactly the type of star player who is going to be able to push around the Lakers or potential trade partners.

The Suns are 11-42 and one of the worst teams in the NBA, so they make some sense for Ball in that he is an inexpensive player with a lot of potential. If the former No. 2 overall pick is coveted by other teams, the Lakers would probably try to use him to acquire some sort of asset or assets that would help them land Davis. If LA has a chance to get Davis, it sounds like no player on their roster other than LeBron James is untouchable.

Report: Lakers have been ‘adamant’ about not trading Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball

The next few weeks will be filled with rumors linking the Los Angeles Lakers to Anthony Davis, but the question of what they would give up lingers.

Guard Lonzo Ball will likely figure prominently in Laker trade rumors, but according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have been internally adamant that the second-year guard is not available.

Obviously the Lakers were adopting this stance before they knew Davis was going to request a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. That factor could change things quickly, especially given their reported determination to land him.

Ball is averaging 9.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 5.3 rebounds this season. He’s still only 21, and Magic Johnson may be reluctant to part with his first draft pick.

Lonzo Ball out 4-to-6 weeks with left ankle sprain

Lonzo Ball ankle injury

The Los Angeles Lakers got very bad news about one of their young stars.

The team announced Sunday that point guard Lonzo Ball will miss 4-to-6 weeks with a grade three ankle sprain sustained during Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets.

Though X-rays turned out negative, the MRI revealed a pretty serious injury. Grade three is the most severe ankle sprain, so this is a pretty bad one that should keep him out perhaps until March. The most optimistic scenario likely brings him back into the fold shortly after the All-Star break, but a lot probably has to go right for that to happen.

Report: X-rays on Lonzo Ball’s ankle turn up negative

Lonzo Ball ankle injury

There is a sliver of good news for the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the injury status of Lonzo Ball.

X-rays on Ball’s left ankle were negative, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli, meaning there is no fracture.

Ball rolled his left ankle after colliding with James Ennis on a drive to the basket in the third quarter of the Lakers’ loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night. He had to be carried off the court by his teammates.

Ball has dealt with multiple injuries to his left ankle since entering the NBA. He has sprained his left ankle four times since playing for the Lakers.

Lonzo Ball gets X-rays on ankle after suffering injury

Lonzo Ball ankle injury

Lonzo Ball left Saturday night’s Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game after rolling his ankle in the third quarter.

Lonzo was driving and kicked out to a teammate. As he passed the ball, he collided with James Ennis and rolled his left ankle, collapsing to the floor.

Ball was in pain and had to be carried off the court by two teammates. ESPN’s Lisa Salters says Ball was put in a wheelchair and taken into the X-ray room.

No long thereafter, Lakers coach Luke Walton was ejected for complaining to the officials. He thought Ennis should have been called for a foul on the play where Ball was hurt.

Ball had 8 points and 11 assists prior to suffering the injury.

This is a rough time for him to be injured. The Lakers are already without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, leaving them thin at point guard.

Lonzo Ball shares recommendation for new UCLA coach

Lonzo Ball

As one of the school’s most prominent current NBA players, one would expect Lonzo Ball to have some opinions on UCLA’s coaching search, and that is the case.

Ball believes that former UCLA guard and ex-Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson should be the school’s next permanent coach, citing his ties to the school and NBA experience.

Watson spent parts of three seasons as Phoenix coach, going 33-85. While he does have strong ties to the school, it might not be the track record of success that the fans might be seeking.

Watson was actually linked to the UCLA job about a year and a half ago when he was still coaching the Suns. There are no indications that he’s yet a candidate this time around, even though Ball wants him to be.

Report: Lonzo Ball will remain Lakers’ starting point guard

Lonzo Ball

At least for the moment, Lonzo Ball has wrestled the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard job away from Rajon Rondo.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Ball will remain in the starting lineup even after Rondo returns from his three-game suspension. Rondo is eligible to return on Saturday, but he will do so off the bench.

Rondo started the first two games of the season, both Laker losses. He averaged a double-double in those games, but the Lakers have performed better with Ball on the floor. They’re 2-1 with him in the lineup, and he’s provided 12.7 points, 7.3 assists, and 7 rebounds per game during that period. The team also has no concerns about his knee, which he had surgery on during the offseason but has since returned to full strength.

Rondo’s on-court conduct was poor and his off-court conduct has come under scrutiny as well. That’s not why the Lakers are benching him, but it probably doesn’t help. They’ve just performed better with Ball at the point and they’re going to keep him there as long as it stays that way.

Luke Walton ‘shocked’ at how good Lonzo Ball looked in practice

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball is working his way back from a knee injury and has already impressed Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

Ball underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in July to address issues that sidelined him at times last season. On Thursday, he practiced in full for the Lakers for the first time since they opened up training camp. A day later, Walton was praising Ball for looking so good.

Ball is unlikely to play in the team’s preseason opener, but these statements are positive signs for the Lakers considering Ball hasn’t been able to do full-on training.

Ball was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft and had a shaky rookie season. Not only was he limited to 52 games because of his knee, but he experienced shooting woes, making just 36 percent of his field goals and 45.1 percent of his free throws. Those are numbers he needs to show vast improvement on if he wants to be an impact player in the league.

Isaiah Thomas does not think Lonzo Ball’s shot can be fixed

Isaiah Thomas

Much ado has been made about Lonzo Ball’s unorthodox jumper, and now one of his former teammates says he does not think the shot can be fixed.

Isaiah Thomas joined “Tiki and Tierney” on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network Thursday. Thomas discussed many subjects, including his most recent team — the Los Angeles Lakers. He had high praise for Ball, whom he called special, but he thinks Lonzo’s jump shot cannot be fixed.

“Lonzo is a great kid. I don’t think they’re going to be able to fix his jump shot but they can work with him and get it better than how it is right now,” Thomas told the hosts. “He’s a talented, talented young player that’s going to be special in this league because he has the tools to be special.”

Thomas talked about many other topics around the league. He said he felt he returned from his hip injury earlier than he should have and said it was smart of Kawhi Leonard not to rush back.

Thomas also said the Cleveland Cavaliers did not give enough of a chance to see if the team could have fit well together before blowing it up at the trade deadline with sweeping changes.

“It just didn’t fit for whatever reason. But at the same time, we didn’t give it enough time to fit,” Thomas said. “I only played 13 or 14 games coming off seven months of sitting out to a while new situation, a whole new team, organization – players I’ve never played with.”

Thomas, 29, will look to make an impression this upcoming season with his new team, the Denver Nuggets. He signed a one-year deal with them in free agency. Both sides are hoping he is beyond his hip injuries.